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Old 05-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default International travel using SIM cards

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I have a US Storm 2 which has been unlocked. I'm traveling to the UK and France shortly and want to use my phone in those countries.

I have several questions:

1) If I purchase a SIM card in the UK, will I be able to use it in France as well, or do I need to buy a different SIM card in France?

2) Is using a different SIM card as simple as just replacing the existing SIM card (from Verizon) and changing the service to GSM?

3) Is "data" typically included with purchased SIM cards?

Thanks in advance,
Bert
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

Are you asking about voice only? If so then the SIM for the local carrier will work but you need to verify with the carrier for each country you intend to be in. You will not get Blackberry services including email without a Blackberry contract
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

If you buy a UK SIM card and travel to France you'll be roaming. And that's IF you can even get service. Depends on roaming agreements.

In theory swapping SIM cards and choosing GSM should be all you need to do. Where it gets more complicated is with data. BlackBerry data services won't work.

BlackBerry data is not usually included. And it's not widely available on Pre-paid SIMs. Orange UK offers it but you have to ask specifically for it, and it costs more. You also have to take your BlackBerry off Verizon data service in order to get data service with another provider. Then you have to register it with your new provider to get their data service.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
BlackBerry data is not usually included. And it's not widely available on Pre-paid SIMs. Orange UK offers it but you have to ask specifically for it, and it costs more. You also have to take your BlackBerry off Verizon data service in order to get data service with another provider. Then you have to register it with your new provider to get their data service.
I guess I'm a bit in the dark when it comes to "Blackberry Data" -all I will need is web access (3G). Is "Blackberry Data" the same thing as "web browsing"?

thanks,
bert
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

No, BlackBerrys are not like regular phones or smartphones. They're in a class by themselves. BlackBerrys get their data from RIM through your carrier. Hence the need for a BlackBerry data plan. The rule is that if the plan does not specifically say BlackBerry it won't get you BlackBerry data, which includes web browsing, email, BBM, maps, social networking, etc.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

I have found that for international travel it's much simpler to get a GSM smartphone and set up a pre-paid SIM with a basic carrier data plan from the pre-paid vendor. You can usually set up basic email (although it won't be the push email you're used to on your BlackBerry) and have access while traveling.

Some companies with an Exchange system and BES won't allow this access. But those of us on BIS can usually get our email via generic data plans with a Nokia or SE phone, both of which enjoy much better support overseas than in North America.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

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Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
I have found that for international travel it's much simpler to get a GSM smartphone and set up a pre-paid SIM with a basic carrier data plan from the pre-paid vendor.
Are you referring to BUYING a GSM smartphone in Europe or in the US - wouldn't that be very expensive?

BTW, I don't need Exchange email.

bert
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: International travel using SIM cards

I have bought them cheaply here in the US, unlocked, used but in prime condition. Online forums like this one are a possible source, as is Howard Forums and a few others. And there's always eBay and Craigslist, but those are last resorts and best for items that are hard to find elsewhere.

In the UK, Carphone Warehouse sells unlocked phones with pre-paid SIM service. More expensive but ready to go. And they're located in train stations and airports.
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